Tumby Bay defies dry June

10 Jul, 2015 02:00 AM
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Tumby Bay farmer Dion LeBrun has sown about 2000ha of wheat, barley, beans and canola, with beans preferenced ahead of canola as a break crop this year.
Tumby Bay farmer Dion LeBrun has sown about 2000ha of wheat, barley, beans and canola, with beans preferenced ahead of canola as a break crop this year.

WHILE much of the state experienced its driest June in decades, Tumby Bay set a new daily June rainfall record – snagging 62.6 millimetres to exceed the previous maximum from 1955.

According to local farmer Dion LeBrun, the rain came just in time.

"We had a tremendous start to the season, then we had a great big dry spell, but we got rain just in time before things started to go backwards," he said. "We're at the stage now where another rain would be welcome."

Tumby Bay fell 1mm short of equalling the wettest June on record, receiving 116mm compared to 117mm in 1956.

"At this stage we're happy," Dion said. "We've probably got a little bit more in the subsoil moisture department than a lot of other regions."

Dion has sown about 2000ha of wheat, barley, beans and canola, with beans preferenced ahead of canola as a break crop this year.

"Canola prices aren't that exciting, whereas bean prices are," he said. "I can get good grass control, I can put some nitrogen in the soil and it's pretty handy sheep tucker for lambs over summer."

While eastern Eyre Peninsula was faring a lot better than other regions, he said there was still a long way to go in the season.

"It looks good at this stage, but it's going to rely on the spring like every year," Dion said. "We got away with (a dry spring) last year because it was especially wet over winter. If it does it this year, we haven't got the soil moisture reserves we had last year."

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    Jacinta Rose

    Jacinta Rose

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